Hey SXSW. Got .tv?

With a nod to dystopian classic, Animal farm, you may have heard the quote “all [clients] are equal, but some [clients] are more equal than others. To that end, our newest client, VeriSign (the company best known for doling out “dot com” or “dot net” domain names), happens to fall into the “more equal” category. So it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that they chose to kick off an exciting project at the event that has been dubbed by outsiders as “geek spring break” aka SXSW Interactive.

ImontvWhich project you ask? Well, let’s just say it involves creating awareness around the .tv domains — considered less valuable in the past — to meet the growing need of video creators (like my colleague, Joe Jaffe) to showcase their stuff. Seriously, this is a perfect way whether your an individual or a company to showcase your commitment to video. Rather than hunting and pecking, customers/fans searching for video content can simply replace the “dot com” or “dot net” at the end of your URL and immediately see all of your video content in a single view.

To help generate excitement and education around this new initiative, the Powered and VeriSign teams have created some fun activities over the next few days to help you get started if you’re new to video or get seen if you’re already a video maven:

  • southby.tv: First of all, you’ll want to check out southby.tv. Whether or not you’re at SXSW, it’s a great place to get a look at some of the cool stuff happening in Austin — shot by the real people who are in the thick of things. As we say on the site,southby.tv is a “living diary” showcasing video content from the insiders at the festival. Which brings us to point #2 — if you’re at the event and have your video camera or phone in hand, your content can be part of the southby.tv line-up. Just hit the site, follow the submission instructions and your clips may be chosen by our curation crew.
  • You can be the Next .tv Star: We’re not just giving you a chance to have your SXSW clips appear on our site; we’re giving you a chance to hit the weblebrity big leagues (eww, yes, I ready said weblebrity.) All over the event, we’ll be shooting audition videos for anyone who wants a chance to win a cool prize package and a shot at being a correspondent for an upcoming Best of .tv web show. The prize includes an all expense paid trip to San Francisco where you’ll spend the day backstage at Revision3 and get a private video production coaching session from Diggnation producer Dave Prager, one of the guys behind one of the web’s most widely watched video series. And of course, you could become a Best of .tv correspondent…
  • Read on for more details about how you can audition in Austin over the next few days. Or visit southby.tv to submit an audition directly (and to learn all the rules and legal stuff, of course.)
  • The .tv Street Team: We’ll have a team roaming the event, shooting audition videos for anyone who wants a shot at being the next .tv star and handing out must-have swag. Be on the lookout and make sure you say howdy (or whatever it is they really say in Texas…)
  • The Bigg Digg Shindigg: .tv is sponsoring Saturday night’s Live Diggnation event (7pm at Stubbs BBQ). We’ll have a big ol’ tent where we’ll be shooting auditions for the next .tv star and doing some other fun stuff, so be sure to check it out. If you can’t be there, you can also watch the fun when the Diggnation episode hits iTunes.
  • Special Offers: And finally, to coincide with .tv’s SXSW presence, we will have special offers for anyone looking for an excuse to get going with video. Check out the offers page on southby.tv for your shot at freebies and more.
Special thanks to my friend and colleague, Greg Verdino, who let me — willingly or unwillingly — “borrow” some of his images and bullets for this post. You can read his more eloquent post on this topic here.